The prosecution won’t reopen the investigation into allegations of sexual malfeasance by Israeli pop star Eyal Golan, despite new testimonies by fans revealed last week by journalists Guy Meroz and Orly Vilnai on Channel 13.
Prosecutors believe it would be hard to prove the suspicions against Golan due to lack of new evidence like video clips, text messages or videos. The new allegations point to suspicions of suborning someone to perform an act of prostitution, for which Golan was never questioned.
In interviews with Meroz and Vilnai, three of Golan’s fans revealed that when they were questioned by police six years ago they did not reveal the extent to which they were exploited by the singer and his associates, surrounding the drug use and the benefits they received in return for the sexual services they allegedly provided. The three women, T., N., and K, said Golan had allegedly asked them to “pamper” his friends, including the musicians in his band, on various occasions, as the price for spending time with him.
In an interview, the prosecutor who handled the case, Livnat Melamed, said that journalist Guy Peleg’s revelation in November 2013 that Golan was being investigated gave the singer’s people time to prepare and conceal evidence. “The moment we started getting solid material – literally minutes afterward – it leaked and destroyed any chance [of building a case],” Melamed said. The Channel 13 report revealed unprofessional behavior by the police, which was slow to carry out basic investigative activities. According to Melamed, by the time the police started pursuing the suspects, it emerged that “messages had been erased and videos had disappeared.”
Golan was first questioned on November 20, 2013, about a week after it emerged that he was being investigated on suspicions of forbidden consensual intercourse, inducing a minor to use drugs, paying a minor for sex and using drugs in the presence of minors. However, he was never questioned on the suspicion of suborning a person to perform an act of prostitution, an offense for which his father, Danny Biton, was convicted in April 2015. Golan said in various interviews at the time that he had nothing to do with his father’s actions and since the case came to light he has cut off ties with his father.
According to Melamed, many of the young women who at first gave evidence against Golan retracted their testimonies after speaking to lawyers. According to the Channel 13 report, one of the women, E., remains in contact with Golan.
The case against Golan was closed due to lack of evidence in 2014. The prosecution also closed the cases against Golan’s associates, including his driver. The degree to which Golan’s personal manager, Benny Peretz, was involved continues to remain under a gag order.
In response to the Channel 13 report, Golan said: “I reject the desire of Orly and Guy to get into my private life. My private life is just that, private and mine alone. Unfortunately, the program tried to conduct a ‘private investigation’ of an event that happened seven years ago in a fashion never attempted by the Israeli media, and which essentially contradicts the decision by the prosecution and the police, who closed the case after only three months.”
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